Demo projects need new safeguards, improvements, healthcare group says

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A session during McKnight's Annual Online Expo will focus on the benefits data can offer to providers
A session during McKnight's Annual Online Expo will focus on the benefits data can offer to providers

A coalition of healthcare groups is pushing lawmakers and the new head of the Department of Health and Human Services to consider strengthening the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation as they debate changes to federal health programs.

Healthcare Leaders for Accountable Innovation in Medicare, which counts the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living among its 38 members, sent a set of CMMI-focused principles this week to new HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D., and other congressional leaders.

Among those principles are respecting Congress' role in shaping health policies, fostering appropriately-scaled, voluntary demonstration projects and strengthening beneficiary safeguards.

“Our healthcare system is transitioning, as it should, from fee-for-service to value-based care, and that requires the testing of new ideas to make healthcare more quality-driven, cost-effective, and patient-centered,” said Healthcare Leadership Council President Mary R. Grealy, who serves on the coalition's steering committee. “We need a CMMI, but we also need safeguards to ensure that CMMI adheres to its original intent, that it test innovative payment and delivery approaches without harm to those who deliver and receive healthcare.”

The coalition also called for Price and policymakers to improve data sharing from CMMI projects. The data should be made public, the coalition said, so that stakeholders can assess it and the demonstration projects' impact on quality and costs.

That data also can be critical for post-acute care providers looking to improve their outcomes, payment and staffing quality, according to Mark Pavlovich, MA, director of analytics and education for Ethica Health. Pavlovich will present his take on Big Data — “Your data always tells you what to do … are you listening?” — to close out McKnight's 11th Annual Online Expo. The session will start at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 15.

The expo kicks off one day earlier, on March 14, with sessions on Medicare compliance, capital availability and survey strategies. Attendees of the two-day event have a chance to earn up to five free continuing education credits. There will also be an online exhibit hall, where visitors can network with vendors and colleagues.

To learn more about the expo and to register, click here.